DENTAL MISSION IN THE SLUMS OF CEBU
Volunteer dentists from Denmark, Sweden and Britain came to Cebu to help relieve pain and suffering!
Phase 1: A 3 days Dental Mission at FMC Marine Colloids Inc. – a factory that produces food additives from sea weeds. They held a dental mission at their factory last year and are committed to raise awareness of dental health through a tooth brushing program and yearly dental treatment of the children from Cesar Cabahug elementary school, which is situated in a slum area not far from the factory.
A lot of work goes into the preparations for a Dental Mission. Apart from applying for permissions, arranging the venues, getting sponsors etc., the practical set up is always our concern. Here is Gabriel Tangalin working on building one of the mobile dental units.
It is with pride that Gabriel views the dental clinic, as he has single handedly built all the mobile units. We now have 8 units, but are looking for sponsors so that we can build more and be able to have 15 dentists working simultaneously.
Left to right: (In the distance) - Annette Beck, wife of the FMC Marine Colloids Inc. Plant Manager, Mr. Claus Beck. She manned the sterilization area the whole time the mission lasted at the factory. Front: Marie Tangalin from Rise Above Foundation, Philippine Dental Association, Cebu Chapter's 3 dentists: Dr. Mae, Dr. Rejoice and Dr. Jo-Anne, Dr. Frida Laetgaard, Dr. Joergen Buchgreitz and wife Lena, Dr. Sabah Hussain and Project manager Elisabet Hansen. Back: Dr. Rachel Adams, Vibeke and Dr. Flemming Hansen, Dr. Joergen Laetgaard, Dr. Pia Alberius and Flemming Hansen.
Before the treatment starts, Flemming Hansen, president of Rise Above Foundation Cebu, Inc. holds an orientation for the team of foreign dentists, covering information about the medicine and materials we have available as well as what our policy is concerning what treatment we offer. Our 1st priority is to relieve the pain that an overwhelming number of children here in the Philippines suffer. Secondly we offer restoration treatment, and if young people have rotten front teeth, then we will restore them if at all possible. We are not equipped to offer root canal treatment.
Here is an example of the condition of the front teeth of a 13 year old boy. Dr. Joergen Laetgaard, a retired dentist from Denmark, with 40 years of experience, took up the challenge and decided to give this boy "new teeth".
Was it worth the 2 hours it took to treat this boy? Absolutely! He will face the future unashamed and with a beautiful smile.
Dr. Joergen Laetgaard with his assistant, Dr. Frida Laetgaard, both retired dentists and working as a team, together with the boy with his beautiful new teeth. You made a big difference in this boy's life, Joergen and Frida! Thank you!
It was emotionally hard for Dr. Joergen Buchgreist and his wife and assistant Lena, to extract 11 teeth on this boy. He had been in terrible pain for a prolonged amount of time, so though it was heartbreaking to pull all those teeth, it was needed and though teary-eyed, it made them happy, knowing the boy would be free from pain.
Dr. Flemming Hansen and wife Vibeke took part in our dental mission 1 year ago. Here they are again, happy to be back. They had spread the word of the Dental Mission in Denmark, and as a result were able to bring needed donated materials and instruments. Thank you Flemming and Vibeke!
Dr. Sabah Hussain from England waiting for the anesthesia to work while her assistant Esther Tangalin is comforting the patient. Esther has been helping with the dental mission for several years, being Gabriel and Marie Tangalin's daughter. She is now herself studying at Cebu Doctor's University to become a dentist.
Dr. Rachel Adams and Dr. Sabah Hussain came to Cebu 4 years ago when they were dental students and helped in a dental mission. It made a deep impression on them, so they decided to return to Cebu. Having practiced as dentists for 3 years, they saved up for their trip to Asia. In Cambodia they assisted at an Australian mission, and while here they are part of the dental mission. Afterwards they are volunteering with us for another 7 weeks, and will treat patients in different institutions for abused and neglected children. Thank you, Rachel and Sabah, for volunteering!
Maria Luisa "Jenny" Pityo gave instruction in tooth brushing to the elementary school children waiting in line to get their treatment.
Nurses students were volunteering every day while the clinic was set up at FMC, Marine Colloids Inc. This company sponsors the toothpaste, tothbrushes and handsoaps for Cesar Cabahug Elementary school which is situated in a slum close to the factory, and this is the second time they are also sponsoring the dental treatment of the children from that school. Apart from receiving pain-relievers and/or antibiotics if needed, the children also received a toothbrush each.
After 3 days at FMC Marine Colloids Inc., the free clinic was moved to a terrible slum area called Alaska Mambaling at the south end of Cebu City.